24 June 2015. PNG Biomass joint venture partner, Aligned Energy, and SP Brewery have announced an agreement to research the growing of cassava, which SP Brewery plans to use as an ingredient in the brewing process.
The agreement announced by SP Brewery’s Managing Director Stan Joyce when signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PNG Biomass Project Operations Manager Garry Townley seals and delivers on an understanding with Aligned Energy Ltd for cassava research and development. Under the MOU SP Brewery and PNG Biomass will jointly carry out intercropping research to identify the best crop and tree spacing that gives optimum cassava yield at the same time as not having significant effect on tree growth.
Mr Joyce said that the long term outcome for this collaborative research is for landowner and smallholder farmers to maximise land use utilisation and production by growing cassava in between tree plantations and sell fresh cassava roots to SP Brewery to extract starch for beer brewing.
PNG Biomass Operations Manager Garry Townley reaffirmed this saying that PNG Biomass will grow tree plantations for biomass energy production and while the trees take up to 5 years to grow before they are harvested, the landowners can earn income from cassava.
Mr Townley advised that PNG Biomass have been working in the Markham Valley over the past three years with landowners developing trial plantations and is committed to sustainable development and providing opportunities that will benefit the landowners and the MOU demonstrates how this can be achieved.